Sunday, 23 February 2014

Swindon Winter Image Show 2014

Today was the annual show by the Swindon and District Bonsai Society, known as the 'Swindon Winter Image Show'. This year was to be my second visit to the show, and the quality of trees on display maintained the high standards that this event has become renowned for.

There is always a good turn out to the Swindon show and many enthusiasts travel from far and wide - not only to view the trees but also to meet friends, old and new.
The show is also a good opportunity to pick up those bonsai essentials from a number of traders, or maybe treat yourself to something special (as I did from event sponsor, John Pitt)!

After my friend Robert and I had packed our goodies into the vehicle, we were fortunate enough to meet up with Tony Tickle who kindly offered to walk us around the show and critique some trees. Tony was displaying two of his own trees and told us a little about the history behind them. My camera batteries were running low, but I did manage to take a short video as Tony told us the story behind a special blackthorn of his named 'Fifty'.

'Fifty' Blackthorn by Tony Tickle

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Spring Buds

A walk around the garden with my camera today shows that Spring is definitely on its way!









Friday, 7 February 2014

Crataegus Bark

Today was a nice sunny day for the first time in what seems like forever, so I had a wander around the garden with my camera. The following are details of the bark on some of the yamadori hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) that I have collected. Even the shohin material display great age.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Spring Repotting 2014

February marks the beginning of the repotting season for many - or at least a time to start thinking about pot selection and soil choices for the ensuing months. For anybody not already itching to start repotting, this excellent video from Sebastijan Sandev should help to get you in the mood.

After a recent visit to my friend John Ostranica, I have a few lovely new pots awaiting trees. Whether its a unique rock imitation slab or a more conventional glazed bowl, each of John's pots is a true one-of-a-kind. Many have imperfections, bubbles or flecks in the glazes which far from being defects, only adds to their character and rustic feel. John can be contacted at

Glazed shohin pot by John Ostranica

Glazed shohin pot by John Ostranica

Slab by John Ostranica
This shohin Lonicera has been the first of my own trees for repotting this season as its buds are already well developed. Lonicera are prolific root growers and require annual repotting. This tree had been in its pot for less than twelve months but was already becoming pot bound. On this occasion there was no need for a new pot. The current pot (J. Ostranica again!) is a fine match.

Ready for repotting

A healthy root system

Removing old soil and raking out the roots

Repotting complete